Those New Year Goals
Tips to Help You Achieve Your New Year Health Goals By Sarah McErlain (Slim's Healthy Kitchen - Magherafelt)
January. New Year. New you, perhaps. It’s everywhere since the first day of the month and year dawned on us. The majority of people vowing to do better, be better, get fitter, lose weight, eat more greens, drink more water.
If you’re reading this, and you are amongst the majority – how is it going for you? We’re into double digit days now. Are you still on track? Is the honeymoon period coming to an end? Have you already gave up because it got too tough?
We’re great at making promises. But do we actually weigh up the sacrifices and commitment it takes? Without a plan, your goal can’t be achieved. Whether you’re planning on running a marathon, losing weight, competing in a fitness competition or simply getting healthier so you can keep up with your energetic little ones – you need to know how you’re going to get there.
We want to see you succeed, however big, or small your New Year health goal is. We want it to add value to your days and we want you to scream from the rooftops when you achieve it (ok – slightly dramatic but you get me!)
We’ve drawn up our top 5 tips to help you achieve your New Year health goals. Regardless of what you’ve read on the internet, it really is quite simple.
- Have a Plan.
You don’t set out on a car journey, with no clue where you’re going but hoping that you’ll end up where you want to be. You plan the route and you take the required roads to get there. Health goals are no different. Write down what you want to achieve. For example – run a sub 4 hour marathon, drink 2L of water each day, increase protein intake, eat less sugar, lose 10lbs, complete 5 Pull-ups, achieve a bodyweight Deadlift. Put a plan in place to help you get there. We love a SMART target because it works –
Specific – swap “I want to drink more water”, for “I want to drink 2L of water a day”
Measurable – tracking is key. How do you know a baby is getting healthier and growing accordingly? Because it gets weighed and measured regularly. Ensure your progress can be monitored daily to ensure success in achieving said goal.
Attainable – you must make sure that the goal is within reach. Sure, we all want to be the strongest, fittest, healthiest people to walk but goals are relative. Check where you are now and decide what the next stage of progress is. A simple goal is much easier to achieve than that which asks too much from you.
Relevant – so, you want to run a sub 4 hour marathon. You already eat well and train often. Deciding you want to learn how to swim isn’t really going to improve your marathon time. Keep your goal relevant to the outcome you desire.
Time – you need toput a time on it otherwise we’ll still be talking about it next year. Give yourself a time frame within which you need to achieve the goal. 1 month? 1 year? It doesn’t matter – whatever is best suited to you and what you aim to achieve will help you reach your health goal.
It isn’t always the case where you need to hire a PT, coach or mentor, but it does help to find someone you can be accountable to. Tell someone who is trustworthy and honest, what you want to achieve and let them help you get there. A friend, spouse or family member can hold you accountable when you’re working towards a healthier you. A coach is invaluable if you’re at competition level in your training as they can see your ability (or lack of) and maximise your potential.
- Write Things Down
If you’re like me and have 50 things in your head at any one time, you’ll benefit from grabbing yourself a mini notebook and writing things down. Every day write an action point that will enable you to stay on track. Write down how you felt during the day. Note your training session/times. Write down how you slept the night previous. Why did you sleep better? Why did you not sleep so well? It helps when you’re trying to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Get Back on Track
It’s not going to be perfect. Heck, nothing ever is. You will have good days, terrible days, “I don’t care anymore” days and all the other ones in between. Learn to accept that while there is a plan in place, not every day is going to adhere to that plan. Every day is a fresh chance to give it your all. Don’t wait to Monday, Friday or next week – if you have a bad day, dust yourself off and get back to it. You’ll be thankful in the long run.
- Enjoy the Process
If whatever you are doing is making you miserable – it’s not for you. Health goals are there to add value to your life, not to destruct it. When you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, any negative external factor is going to have major implications. A bad day at work means you’re definitely not going to the gym afterwards. The kids driving you mad will not encourage you to stick on a pot of broccoli for lunch. Find something that you can do with ease that is enjoyable. This will only breed success in reaching those health goals.
Everyone needs goals to keep them focused and partially sane. Everyone also needs a plan on how to achieve them. We hope this has helped you decipher what is a realistic health goal and what needs to be kept in the pot.
Tell us what you want to achieve this year. Track your progress. Show the world your victory.
And always remember that baby steps still move you forward.